Divorces of Heterosexual Couples Rose by 18.4% in 2019

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The latest divorce statistics published by the Office for National Statistics’ (ONS) has revealed that divorces of heterosexual couples rose by 18.4% in 2019 compared to the previous year.

According to the data, there were 90,871 in 2018, and 107,599 divorces last year – reflecting the highest number since 2014 when 111,169 divorces were granted in England and Wales.

Commenting on the statistics David Lister, Head of Family Law and Divorce at Simpson Millar Solicitors said, “While the latest data shows that there has already been a significant increase in the number of divorces of late, the reality appears to be that Covid-19 has acted as a catalyst in the breakdown of even more marriages.

“We are dealing with an unprecedented volume of divorce applications and the financial and child related issues arising from separation, as a consequence, which has forced us to have to recruit much more quickly than our growth strategy had planned for.

“What’s upsetting for those individuals is that while the ‘no-fault divorce’ bill has received Royal Assent, it’s not expected to come into force until the Autumn of 2021 whilst the UK Government is working on putting together and implementing the framework under which no-fault divorce will operate.

“That means that potentially tens of thousands of couples across England and Wales will still have to blame their former partner as part of their divorce application if they want an immediate remedy, adding further, unnecessary upset and stress to what are already difficult proceedings.

“We would encourage speeding up the move to the new process for the benefit or all parties involved, and we would urge the Government to properly introduce no-fault divorce sooner rather than later.

“This would provide some comfort to those who are desperate to move on and return to a sense of normality after what has been an awfully turbulent year, without having to engage in the “blame game” with a spouse with whom they may have already come to a mutual agreement.”

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